Tetra Paks are difficult to recycle because they are made out of a number of different materials.
The main material in a Tetra Pak is paperboard. This is made out of wood and helps to keep the package stable and sturdy.
This paperboard is layered with polyethylene, a type of plastic that protects the paperboard from being damaged by moisture. It also protects the packaging from the product inside. Polyethylene allows the paperboard to stick to the aluminium foil.
The foil then protects the Tetra Pak’s contents from oxygen and light. Along with the use of sterilisation, this foil helps to keep perishable food inside safe for months, without refrigeration or preservatives.
Tetra Pak caps are also made from HDPE, a type of plastic derived from sugar cane.
Since the industrial revolution, we have undergone five waves of innovation. These waves have brought new technologies and have radically transformed society. This book predicts the sixth wave to come, a period that will be defined by resource efficiency.
Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev put forward the idea that Western capitalist economies go through waves of innovation. These waves are like mountains, with a rise at the beginning and a fall at the end.